Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala – Food Review – w/ Cumin Flavored Basmati Rice

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The national dish of England. Huh?

What happened to fish and chips, kidney pie and warm ale?

Has the whole world gone bonkers?

Yes.  According to Wikipedia, chicken tikka masala is “Britain’s true national dish.  When you think about it, England and India have a long history together.  So it may not be so surprising. 

Reviewed previously was TJ’s paneer tikka masala.  The substitution in this variation is, chicken for the cheese (paneer).  Also note that the basmati rice included with this dish is cumin flavored.  The basmati rice in TJ’s paneer version is spinach basmati rice.  A little variation is good for us all.  Obviously, the use of chicken takes this off the vegetarian lists.

As a reminder, here’s the translation for the name of the dish.   Tikka means small pieces.  Masala is a mix of spices made into a sauce.  And chicken is chicken.  Putting it all together,  small pieces of chicken in a spicy sauce.  But enough of this.  How does it taste?

Just like its paneer cousin, the chicken tikka masala is really good.  It tastes like the same great sauce, with medium heat, as the paneer version.  The cumin basmati rice was good, but I seem to remember the spinach version that came with the paneer as being a little better.  The chicken pieces may be tandoori chicken (roasted).  The ingredients didn’t specify how the chicken was cooked.  However, the fact that I would notice this, speaks to the care that may have gone into this box to make it another quality product. 

In fact, if you read down the ingredient list, you’ll see how many different ingredients it takes to make this product.  We might not recognize them as everyday supermarket products.  But that again gives us a hint that there were no shortcuts taken in this recipe.  What we see missing from the ingredients are long chemical sounding names and general statements like, “spices” and “flavors”.

Overall, this is another quality product that is just about as good as we’ll find in a restaurant.  At around $3.50 a box, it’s not one of those $1.00 frozen entrees.  But then,  it is so much better than the standard stuff in the frozen food section.  Give yourself a treat every once in a while.

Calories: 300, Serving Size: 1 package

Price: $3.49

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